By Carly Thompson / Staff writer

Gracie Lambert is a freshman from Lindsborg who has played a key role on the Hutchinson Community College cross country and track teams. She was on the national championship 3,200-meter relay team for indoor track season. Lambert also finished 36th at the NJCAA Women’s Division I Cross Country Championship, helping the Blue Dragons get fourth place.

Running in college has been a challenge for Lambert, with the larger group of athletes all going for the same goal – to get better. However, she pushes herself to overcome mental barriers.

Another change for Lambert was the training schedule. Back-to-back seasons mean consecutive training. Not only does she stay mentally tough, but she also has to maintain her physical health as well.

“I had to learn how to prioritize my recovery time to prevent injuries. Training is structured to make you better and it takes time so you have to learn how to be patient and listen to your coach’s advice,” Lambert said.

Prior to college, Lambert would not have hesitated in saying she favors track over cross country. However, her first season in college changed her perspective. She saw major improvements and loved the atmosphere that the team brought. Lambert has a special connection with her cross country teammates and loves that they all support each other in their personal goals.

Indoor track was a new experience that Lambert said she enjoyed. She had to make adjustments, like running on a curve for the entirety of the race but enjoyed being out of the elements. Transitioning into the outdoor season, she likes that times are usually faster with the straightaways that allow her to stride out and build speed.

“Even though this outdoor season is coming to an end my expectation is to overcome this hip issue I’ve been battling for a while and enjoy my last race of the year at nationals,” Lambert said.

The Region 6 track meet is May 4-6, and the NJCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship will begin May 18.

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